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Blood Bank

A Red Cross Blood Bank is a center where blood gathered as a result of blood donation is stored and preserved for later use in blood transfusion. The term "blood bank" typically refers to a division of a hospital where the storage of blood product occurs and where proper testing is performed (to reduce the risk of transfusion related adverse events). However, it sometimes refers to a collection center, and indeed some hospitals also perform collection. Whole blood or blood with RBC, is transfused to patients with anaemia/iron deficiency. It also helps to improve the oxygen saturation in blood. It can be stored at 1.0°C-6.0°C for 35-45 days. Platelet transfusion, is transfused to those who suffer from low platelet count. This can be stored at room temperature for 5-7 days. Plasma transfusion is indicated to patients with liver failure, severe infections or serious burns. Fresh frozen plasma can be stored at a very low temperature of -25°C for up to 12 months.

While the first blood transfusions were made directly from donor to receiver before coagulation, it was discovered that by adding anticoagulant and refrigerating the blood it was possible to store it for some days, thus opening the way for the development of blood banks. John Braxton Hicks was the first to experiment with chemical methods to prevent the coagulation of blood at St Mary’s Hospital,London in the late 19th century. His attempts, using phosphate of soda, however, were unsuccessful.

The first non-direct transfusion was performed on March 27, 1914 by the Belgian doctor Albert Hustin, though this was a diluted solution of blood. The Argentine doctor Luis Agote used a much less diluted solution in November of the same year. Both used sodium citrate as an anticoagulant.